Is there ever an acceptable time to swear at work?
There is a noticeable amount of cursing on the Fox program "Hell's Kitchen." It seems profanity is becoming more and more acceptable at work and in our daily lives. What's driving this change in our society?
If you don't want the change, how can it be stopped?
Some people would be blowing bubbles constantly if they had to wash out their mouths with soap because of all the profanity they use.
Some local experts we talked to say the bad habit could get you in big trouble at work if you don't stop.
"Hell's Kitchen" is a program about foodies with foul mouths. The censor sound and white circle helps to the protect the audience from words that grate on the ear.
Profanity is something many of us hear at work and some use it nonchalantly.
"For me personally I try not to curse."
"A lot of people get angry sometimes and that generates a lot of negative language."
Cursing at the job, is it is ever allowed?
"Absolutely. Well, if they do the wrong thing sometimes you have to use a few chose words to get them in gear."
A recent example of inexperienced anchor's slip of the tongue made him infamous and unemployed.
The double standard of profanity in private, never be said on TV, was made popular by the late comedian George Carlin's 1970s skit, "Seven Dirty Words."
"They called them bad, dirty, filthy, foul, vulgar, course," Carlin said. "Cursing, cussing, swearing and all I could think of was bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep."
The words he said in 1972 are still banned from TV in 2013.
Bad food, not bad language, will get you kicked off "Hell's Kitchen." In the real world, especially in Tennessee, it's much different.
Cursing can get you fired, according to FOX13 News legal analyst Caren Nichol.
"An employer can fire you for using excessive profanity," Nichol said. "Most employees will give a warning but they don't have too, which is why people should watch their mouths at work."
Light punishment could include a suspension.
"Ask him to go home. Oh yeah, go home, think about it."
Don't want a human resources nightmare on your hands? One expert advises managers to make it a written rule: no foul language allowed in the work place.
"Flat across the board, we don't talk this way at this business or in this office or at this work place," said Judy Bookman, EAP counselor.
Obviously such a rule is not in place in "Hell's Kitchen," but that's reality TV. The reality at work is much different. No cameras and profanity should be the exception rather than the rule.
"I say Greg, we promote what we permit," Bookman said.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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